Remember this formula from inside 100 yards and you’ll be a better golfer

GOLF Top 100 Teacher Nick Clearwater details a simple formula to determine how you should attack greens from inside 100 yards.


There’s a time and a place for working on your golf swing, of course. But the point of golf isn’t to grind on our technique on the range. The goal is to play on the golf course — and ideally, play well.

The good news is there are certain things you can do to improve your chances of shooting a good score with the game you have, just by being a little smarter with how you manage it.

Here’s a great example from GOLF Top 100 Teacher Nick Clearwater.

The first thing you need to understand is the concept of dispersion patterns. Don’t worry, it’s pretty simple.

Imagine hitting 25 balls to one target. Toss out your worst five or so shots, and what you’ll be left with is a relatively circular area where all your shots landed. That’s your dispersion pattern.

When you go the the golf course, you shouldn’t be aiming at targets based on where your best shot will land. You should aim based on keeping the most balls in your dispersion pattern safe.

For a green like this, that means aiming left and slightly long of this pin.

Some golfers may not have the time to find exactly their own dispersion pattern, so that’s where coach Nick Clearwater comes in. Based on data from his GOLFTEC students, he’s offering a simple rule that can serve as our guideline for shots within 100 yards:

The inside 100 yard formula

  • If you’re a scratch or better, aim at the pin.
  • If you shoot in the 70s, give yourself a six-yard buffer on either side.
  • If you shoot in the 80s, increase that buffer to 10 yards.

If the pin is tucked on the left or right side of the green, giving yourself a 10-yard buffer probably means aiming at the middle of the green. Don’t get greedy. You may not think it’s a good idea at the time, but you’ll enjoy the results.

You can get 20% off your own lesson at GOLFTEC right here, or below.

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Luke Kerr-Dineen Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.